OCADO WASTE

We’re committed to being the UK’s most sustainable grocer.

Ocad0 Waste is Ocado Retail’s commitment to sustainability. We’re committed to meeting the needs of customers without compromising quality of life for future generations.

We do this by focusing on four core areas: food waste, carbon impact, packaging waste, and responsible impact.

Read on to find out how we’re actively being a greener grocer.

Food Waste

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We believe food belongs in bellies, not in bins. We’ve made reducing food waste our mission since ocado.com was founded in 2001. We have extremely low food waste with just 0.04% (that’s 1 in 2,600) products being sent to be converted into energy. But we can do better…

Here’s a snapshot of how we’re working towards this goal:

  • The way we operate means we’re able to tell customers exactly how long food items will be at their best – we call this our Life Guarantee.
  • 95% of the food we can’t sell is fresh – instead of chucking it out, we send it to our partner food banks. We’ve received feedback from them that they appreciate fresh food, as most donations they get are tinned food and home supplies.
  • We sponsor eleven refrigerated vans for food banks – this enables them to effectively and safely redistribute fresh fruit, veg, meat, fish and other options.
  • Any inedible food gets broken down and converted into reusable energy. 
  • We’re running a series of food diaries with customers to better understand how we can help them reduce their waste.
  • We’re constantly researching and sourcing waste reduction solutions to share with customers and our suppliers.
Learn more

Carbon impact

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Continually striving to be slicker, leaner, and less wasteful has the added benefit of reducing our carbon impact. As our business grows, so does our efficiency.

After a successful trial at our Park Royal hub, we plan to roll out a fleet of 17 electric vehicles by the end of 2020. We’ll also be increasing our electric vehicle fleet further in 2021.

We’re planning for 1 in 3 of our LGVs to be gas powered by the end of 2020, and will ramp up that number in 2021. We’ve been able to make this happen by investing in and building our own natural gas station next to our Hatfield CFC.

We’re looking at using hybrid vehicles for more remote areas. Running cleaner, more efficient vehicles is the right thing to do, and we are excited about how advances in technology will enable us to go greener much faster.

We’re currently trialling vans at our Oxford hub with solar panelled roofs to see if we can further reduce the carbon impact of our vehicles.

During the life of our vans, parts will frequently require replacement – these are suitable for reuse, both in our own fleet and supporting the wider green parts market for Mercedes Sprinters (the model of our fleet). 

Using these second-life parts saves money and minimises landfill waste. It also decreases demand for new parts – therefore reducing manufacturing and supply chain emissions.

When our vans reach the end of the road, we work with our recycling partners to remove and reuse as many internal and external parts as possible.

Using seasonal and locally sourced produce has a positive impact on reducing carbon footprint – we’ve designed ocado.com to help customers easily pick out the best produce to help achieve this.

Responsible packaging

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We know how important the environment is to our customers because it’s just as important to us. So we’ve changed how we do certain things to help us move forward in an eco-friendly way.

We’ve eliminated all polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene and black plastics from our own-label range, but we have more to do. We frequently review our own-label range and make continual improvements to its recyclability and recyclable content.

We’re founding members of the UK Plastics Pact and have committed to reaching the pact’s 2025 targets.

We pride ourselves on our supply chain’s efficiency and streamlining and have applied this to the packaging used throughout the life cycle of many products.

We have a programme to get as many suppliers as possible using reusable trays produced by IFCO instead of single-use cardboard or plastic wrap. Currently, we have around 139 suppliers using these trays and plan to convert more.

Like our customers, we’re acutely aware of the concerns around using carrier bags in our deliveries. We have a separate page where we share more about why we feel continuing to use bags at the moment is the right thing to do at this point in time.

Any money not utilised from this scheme to buy back bags will be donated to Trees for Cities – the only UK charity working to improve lives by planting trees in cities.

Responsible impact

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We recognise our position in the retail industry gives us a unique opportunity to ensure the impact we have on people, the welfare of animals and the environment is positive and sustainable in the long-term.

Animal welfare is an important part of responsible retailing, and we work closely with our suppliers to continually improve our standards.

We follow the Five Freedoms of animal welfare:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst: by giving ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
  2. Freedom from discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease: by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

Alongside the Freedoms, we also ensure humane treatment by adhering to the following principles when sourcing the Ocado Own-Label range:

  1. All shell eggs and eggs used as ingredients in our Own Label range  are 100% free range.
  2. All milk, poultry and UK-sourced red meat are from suppliers that follow Red Tractor’s standards that ensure products are safe and can be traced from pack back to British farms.
  3. Exceptions for red meat are those sourced from outside the UK e.g. Irish beef or New Zealand lamb; however, we require them to come from a farm with an appropriate farm assurance scheme in place.
  4. We’ll never sell chlorinated chicken in our Own-Label range.
  5. All Own-Label suppliers must comply with the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) targets of transparent antibiotic usage.
  6. All fish are sustainably and responsibly sourced – we’ll never sell endangered species in the Own-Label range.

We respect the environment in the production of our Own-Label range and follow these guidelines:

  1. All cocoa, bananas, tea and coffee must be from a verified sustainable source and certified by one of the following relevant schemes such as UTZ, Cocoa Horizons, Fairtrade Foundation and the Rainforest Alliance.
  2. All palm oil must be Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
  3. Soy, as an ingredient, must be certified as free of any genetically modified material (GM-free) and from a source whose details are easily found (a.k.a. identity-preserved source).
  4. We understand the impact that soy production as part of animal feed has on the environment and, in particular, deforestation. Ocado Retail is committed to working with our suppliers to work towards 100% sustainable soy in the animal feed used to supply our Own-Label poultry, red meat, eggs and milk.

We aim to use the most sustainable raw materials, and will continue to work with our suppliers to reduce our environmental impact.

Circa 5,000 of the M&S products stocked at ocado.com adhere to their approach to managing sustainability.

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